We called Nokia’s first Android app “wonderfully simple and shockingly innovative” when we gave the world its first look at the sleek Z Launcher app back in June, but the app was only available as a limited pre-beta at the time and Nokia quickly filled all available slots. Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that the Z Launcher app just received a major update and opened up to a new wave of pre-beta users at the same time. The bad news, however, is that you can only get in if you had previously signed up for access to the app. More →
Much has been written about Microsoft’s unsettling plan to cut loose some 18,000 of its employees by the end of 2014. You could argue that it’s a necessary evil, or you could argue that it’s a short-sighted misstep. From what I’ve read, this is about Microsoft repositioning itself for the current reality it finds itself a part of.
In many ways, Ballmer never took the steps to shape the company into a viable behemoth. Just as he laughed off the iPhone in 2007, he never really figured out that the company was slipping in a lot of ways — not the least of which was mindshare.
Out of the 18,000 announced cuts, a staggering 12,500 will come from Nokia’s devices division. A division that Ballmer was hellbent on acquiring before heading for the exits. To me, however, the question shouldn’t be on Microsoft’s commitment (or lack thereof) to building phones. The question should be about Windows Phone.
I’ve long since believed there are some battles worth fighting, and some worth conceding. The trick, as you know, is figuring out which slots where. More →
The new Microsoft layoff wave will axe thousands of employees from Nokia’s old handset unit and will close down the once crucially important Oulu R&D center that used to be the source of global phone innovation, from internal antennas to 3G tech. Many now view the handset industry as an unprofitable sunset business that has little relevance outside Apple and Samsung. More →
It’s safe to say that Stephen Elop really isn’t very popular in Finland, especially after Microsoft announced on Thursday that it was laying 12,500 people who currently work for its Nokia devices and services division. Since Elop is both the former CEO of Nokia and the current boss of Microsoft’s devices and services division, we were very curious to get his take on this week’s massive layoffs that hit his division harder than any other. More →
Microsoft will soon announce a massive round of layoffs, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Thousands of employees will be let go as Microsoft looks to integrate the devices and services business it recently acquired from Nokia. The report says that the reductions could be announced as soon as this week, and it could be Microsoft’s biggest ever round of layoffs, topping the 5,800 cuts it made five years ago in 2009. More →
It took Nokia several years to launch an Android handset of its own, but the company’s Android vision wasn’t exactly what fans were expecting. In early 2014, Nokia announced budget-friendly Android smartphones that weren’t top-of-the-line flagship handsets and didn’t even run an Android OS version filled with all the goodies most Android users have grown to love. Following the Microsoft purchase, Nokia released one more mid-range Android handset, which was in line with its predecessors. However, Microsoft is now rumored to launch a different kind of Android handset in the future, one that will be included in the Lumia family rather than the X family of affordable devices. More →
In terms of launches, Microsoft has been relatively quiet since taking over Nokia’s devices and services business. In fact, the company’s only launch to speak of was the Nokia X2, an Android-powered device that will never see the light of day in the United States. Rumors continue to swirl that suggest Microsoft has several Lumia smartphones in the works though, and it looks like one of them has broken cover for the first time. More →
The year 1973 was crucial for one for the giants of European industry. That was when Finnish Rubber Works merged with Finnish Cable Works, forming a company called Nokia Corporation. That year, Nokia had a massive consumer market blockbuster with Kontio Rubber Boot. Kontio was named after the Finnish term of endearment for “bear” that was commonly used in Middle Ages to avoid the religious taboo against using the true name of this animistic deity (Karhu).
This groundbreaking footware introduced many key features that would become staples of modern rubber boot manufacturing: a tightening strap, a reflective band and a rotationally rigid midsole construction. Kontio would define the Nokia brand in Europe during late 1970s and the 1980s. More →
One of the most unanticipated developments surrounding mobile phones is the fact that people don’t really want to use them to talk to each other. They want to use them to send messages. This phenomenon was so counterintuitive that it has now disrupted the entire tech industry twice — first in 1994 and later in 2012. It was messaging that turned Nokia into king of the mobile phone market in 1990s and then WhatsApp into one of the most successful startups in the history as Facebook was forced to pay $19 billion for a tiny company that was just five years old.
The astonishing popularity of text-messaging on phones has now blindsided two generations of tech leaders. It goes to show how difficult reading consumer behavior can be for even the most accomplished companies. More →
Just as recently teased, Microsoft and Nokia on Tuesday unveiled a new Android handset, the budget-friendly dual SIM Nokia X2. The handset, which will sell off-contract for just $99, or around $135, is not a flagship device by this year’s standards, and still ships with a custom Google-less Android OS version on board. More →
Microsoft is set to launch the next generation of its Nokia X line of phones, at least according to two teaser images posted by Nokia. A new post on the Nokia Conversations blog suggests a new Nokia X phone could come as soon as next Tuesday. An image with an X and the date June 24th is on the site and can be seen below. The site also features a countdown clock that is counting down to June 24th. The same teaser image and countdown clock can be seen on a Chinese version of the Nokia site as well. More →
It seems positively bizarre to type, especially since I have been covering the company for nearly a decade now, but Nokia is no longer a cell phone maker. Once the largest phone vendor on the planet by a staggering margin, Nokia sold its devices and services business to Microsoft and will now wear a number of new hats as it looks toward the future. One of those hats, as it turns out, is that of an Android developer — and the company’s first big software announcement is a shockingly impressive one. More →
With the increasing number of mobile devices that can be wirelessly charged, it’s no surprise that more companies are thinking about how they can incorporate this technology in their products. Starbucks has recently announced that all its stores across the U.S. will offer customers wireless charging areas, but what if that’s not enough? One fashion designer, working together with Microsoft, has come up with a pair of pants for men that will wirelessly charge phones, Business Insider reports. More →